Does Drew have a Pre-Law major?

Drew has a strong liberal arts tradition that enables a student to pursue an academic program in preparation for admission to and success in law school but does not offer an “official” pre-law major. At Drew, pre-law is a “goal,” not a “major,” and pre-law students enjoy great flexibility in both academic and career options while preparing for law school.

What major should I select?

The American Association of Law Schools does not prescribe any particular field of study or series of courses to gain admission to law school. Instead, the Association recommends an academic preparation that develops a student’s ability to read with comprehension, to think critically and analytically, and to communicate clearly both in speech and in writing.

It suggests that the student’s undergraduate program include substantial work in courses that require disciplined and logical thought, particularly in the communication of ideas. Any of the social and behavioral sciences, logic and mathematics, history, any of the physical and natural sciences, philosophy, accounting, and computer studies would provide a strong foundation. Thus, virtually any of Drew’s majors can serve as strong preparation for law school, including the more traditional fields of political science, economics, English, and history. Some more atypical majors pursued by pre-law students at Drew have included theatre, biology, chemistry, and mathematics.

Because law schools recommend no particular undergraduate program of study and base admission decisions principally upon the applicant’s grade-point average and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score, Drew faculty advisers recommend that students consider a major in a subject area in which they are successful and which they enjoy.

Along with the requirements for my major, are there any other courses I should take?

While not required for admission to law school, Drew’s faculty advisers strongly recommend that all pre-law students take some classes in economics (macroeconomics and microeconomics), writing, and public speaking.

Are there any courses that I can take at Drew to learn about law before I apply to Law School?

There are several courses offered by the College that help educate the student in the realities and the theories of the American legal system. Specifically, the political science department offers Law, Politics, and Society, Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice, International Law, Constitutional Law and Civil Rights, and a seminar on Human Rights. Courses in the sociology department include Criminology, Sociology of Deviant Behavior, and a seminar on Crime and the Urban World. Other departments offer relevant courses as well—for example, Social Ethics (religious studies) and Industrial Organization and Public Policy Toward Business (economics). Off-campus activities, such as field trips to local courts, police stations, and New York City jails, often supplement the classroom work of such courses.

What distinguishes Drew’s Pre-Law Program?

Aside from the opportunity to pursue a well-rounded, liberal arts education, focusing on the major of your choice, the strength of the pre-law preparation at Drew is distinguished by the high quality of the College’s curriculum and faculty. Like all Drew faculty, the professors who teach and advise the pre-law students are dedicated to providing personal attention and support to students and to bringing a spirit of creativity and innovation to the classroom.

Distinctive Features & Special Programs

Scholars in their own right (over 90 percent of Drew’s faculty hold a doctorate or equivalent in their field), the faculty also bring a professional expertise to the classroom. For example, Dr. Hans Morsink, professor of political science, teaches courses on international law and human rights, and recently published The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Origins, Drafting, and Intent (University of Pennsylvania Press ). Dr. Jinee Lokaneeta, assistant professor of political science, is an expert in constitutional law and civil rights and liberties across countries. Thus, students are educated and advised by those who are best qualified to teach them and, ultimately, best able to provide strong personal references for law school.

What other special opportunities does Drew provide?

The College’s pre-law adviser and interested students have formed the Law and Political Science Society, which assists students in learning more about the legal profession, politics, and policy. The group is active in bringing speakers to campus, organizing mock trial competitions, and providing information to students about preparing for law school. The group also publishes an undergraduate journal on law and public policy.

Are there opportunities for professional work experience?

Drew’s faculty actively encourage pre-law students to do internships to gain insight and, more important, experience in the legal field. The University’s location, 30 miles west of New York City and almost mid-way between two of New Jersey’s legal centers, Morristown and Roseland, ensures a wealth of prime professional assignments for Drew’s aspiring lawyers. Drew is able to place students as interns with Superior Court judges, in prosecutors’ offices, in probation offices, and in juvenile courts.

Who will advise me as a Pre-Law student?

In addition to the individual academic guidance and support of each student’s faculty adviser, Drew’s pre-law adviser is available to work personally with all pre-law students. Currently the pre-law adviser is a full-time member of the political science department.

What sort of advising is available to Pre-Law students?

The College’s pre-law adviser is available to meet with all pre-law students regardless of their choice of major. They discuss current pre-law-related issues, such as recommended classes, or more long term or individual concerns, such as the appropriateness of law as a career choice. The aim is to prepare students to reach their highest potential as a competitive pre-law applicant. When the time comes to apply to law school, the pre-law adviser and other faculty advisers are able to help pre-law students prepare their law school applications. Because there is such a variety of law schools with different levels of strength and selectivity, the pre-law adviser is especially concerned with helping students evaluate their educational needs and academic records. Students are assisted in selecting schools to which application would be appropriate, gauging their chances for admission to each school, and completing their law school applications. The pre-law adviser helps students to determine and identify viable and acceptable academic or occupational alternatives should enrollment at the student’s preferred law school not be possible.

How personalized is the pre-law advising process at Drew?

Because the College and the number of pre-law students is relatively small, the pre-law student not only becomes known to the departmental faculty advisers as an advisee, but also as a student, often in one or more classes. Frequent contact is encouraged at Drew between all students and their advisers, and especially between the pre-law students and the pre-law adviser.

What percentage of Drew students applying to Law School are admitted?

Most of Drew’s pre-law students have little trouble gaining admission to law school. What this reflects is the high caliber of advice rendered to students, insuring that a candidate’s academic record is well-matched to the schools to which he or she is applying.

How strong is Drew’s reputation for preparing Pre-Law students?

Recognition of Drew’s strong tradition of preparing students for careers in law is evident in the quality of law schools to which our graduates are continually accepted and, more important, in the quality of students’ performances in the law schools they attend. Many Drew graduates are selected for their school’s law review. Moreover, the success our alumni/ae achieve after law school is noteworthy. Many alumni/ae have distinguished themselves in the field and thus furthered Drew’s reputation as an excellent undergraduate preparation for law school.

Law Schools

The following are law schools at which Drew applicants have enrolled during the last five years:

  • American University Law School

  • Benjamin Cardozo Law School

  • Boston College Law School

  • Boston University School of Law

  • Case Western Reserve Law School

  • Catholic University Law School

  • Columbia University Law School

  • Cornell University Law School

  • Dickinson University Law School

  • Fordham University Law School

  • Georgetown University Law School

  • George Washington University Law School

  • Harvard University Law School

  • New England School of Law New York Law School

  • New York University Law School

  • Northwestern University School of Law

  • Seton Hall University Law School

  • Rutgers University Law School in Newark

  • Rutgers University Law School in Camden

  • Stetson University Law School

  • Suffolk University Law School

  • Syracuse University Law School

  • St. John’s University Law School

  • Temple University Law School

  • University of California at Berkeley Law School

  • University of California at Los Angeles Law School

  • University of Pennsylvania Law School

  • University of Virginia Law School

  • University of Connecticut Law School

  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law

  • University of Vermont Law School

  • Wake Forest University Law School

  • Western New England Law School

  • Widener University Law School

For More Information regarding Pre-Law, please contact:

Gwen DeBenedetto, Assistant Director
Center for Career Development
Sycamore Cottage, Rm. 202